Thursday, 23 September 2010

wild cherry compote and hedgerow jam

so, after my last post about wild foraging i thought it only sensible to let you in on the sort of things i've been making with all that produce! it's been a struggle trying to think of things to do, and there's been a lot of googling going on to find ideas, but eventually....

watercress soup - i've never heard great things about this. it sounds really diet-y and tasteless to begin with. and really i do prefer it fresh in salads rather than boiled to submission. but we had so much of it, that it would be impossible to have eaten it all fresh before it started to wilt. so armed with fresh basil and some tasty root veg, i made this watercress soup, not bad for a first attempt! 

back in august, my brother and i were sneakily told about a cherry tree growing up a nearby lane. so of course, we went to investigate. we found a tree absolutely packed full of cherries, so we gathered in a whole load. after eating lots of them fresh right there and then, i decided they would make a beautiful compote to have with breakfast - and oh was i right! it was a bit of a pain stoning them, but worth it, because it was so tasty! simply take some fresh cherries and stew in a little water until 'smooshed'.

i've always wanted to make jam. and this was the year for it. plenty of wild fruit was available to me to use, and i already had my jam sugar waiting in the, blackberries were washed and apples were peeled and diced ready to put into a large pot with a little water and some sugar. and a few hours later, placed into sterilised jars ready to eat throughout the winter. i ended up making 7 jars, and then 7 more jars with elderberries in too. my family are more than happy with having enough jam to last a whole year!

and the real joy is that it's so easy to do! i used the saucer test to check when it was ready to jar up - which worked a treat. although it took a lot longer than thought to acheive the right consistency. next year i may try using grape juice and pectin, instead of sugar - i'd like to be able to eat it more frequently, and feel healthier when i do!

it tastes really good with homemade drop scones, and a bit of greek yoghurt, mmmm.

the apples are a mystery - there are still loads of them! i keep using them but they keep returning. i think a dorset apple cake is in order. but i did enjoy them in these french apple and almond slices - very nice, a good treat at the end of a long day, and incredibly quick to make. and yes, i did burn them a little, oops!

to make apple and almond pastries:
 - simply take some puff pastry sheets and cut into rectangles (you could do circles or squares if you prefer, but i like the look of these!)
 - mix together ground almonds with some apple juice and a little honey.
 - spread the almond mixture over the centre of the puff pastry shape, and then layer with sliced apples.
 - brush with honey and sprinkle with sliced almonds.
 - bake in the oven until golden.

* thanks for all of those of you who have voted for me in project food blog! i really appreciate it, and your kind comments too... if you haven't yet voted, you still can by checking out my profile and hearting it!

currently listening to: breakable by ingrid michaelson


  1. I love homemade jam... and my mom makes jam out of everything.. orange peel to sesame... yum! :)

  2. Love the look of those apples and almond pastries:-)

  3. i am so excited about canning this winter. your jam looks delicious! and almond pastries!


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